Neighbours to compete at British Jigsaw Championships
PUBLISHED: 07:00 26 April 2020
A pair of Clevedon neighbours are set to represent North Somerset in a nationwide jigsaw competition.
Ken Gascoigne managed to gain a place with his neighbour, Annie Royce, at this year’s British Jigsaw Championships at Newmarket on June 21.
The duo competed last year for the first time and came fifth overall, representing North Somerset in the pairs competition and they are confident of a higher finishing position this time around.
Competitors are given a previously unseen 1,000-piece jigsaw on the day so no team gets an unfair advantage.
Ken told the Times: “The self-isolation has meant we can no longer train together, but it has also meant I’ve been able to get through an awful lot of jigsaws as I can’t do much else at the moment.
“It’s all to play for on the day as all competitors will use a brand new, unreleased jigsaw.
“As it stands, the British Jigsaw Championships is still planning to hold the event and we haven’t been informed of any cancellation, but I would imagine, as the virus continues to spread, it would be likely the championships will be at best be postponed.
“But I suppose the isolation gives us more time to train, albeit individually and not as a team.”
Ken works as a photographer and had his exhibition, which he had been working on for one year, cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The pair began tackling jigsaw puzzles on a trip to Brighton around five years ago.
On a holiday with their partners, they completed a few in a pub and realised their combined efforts were impressively quick.
Ken and Annie later want to take on the world championships in Spain.
Ken added: “We see it as a good bit of fun and don’t tend to take ourselves very seriously, we only entered into last year’s competition as a laugh and were shocked that we finished so high.
“A lot of people take it more seriously, one person flew in all the way from New York in America just to take part last year.
“Let’s just see how far we can go, if we get to the world championships in Spain then great, if not then no worries.
“We enjoy it and know that if we win it won’t be life-changing, it is just harmless fun, especially in these challenging times.”
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